Pedaling Forward on Trade

1413494630884_SMmaster_jm10911.jpg The machinery of trade liberalization came to life again in the past few weeks. After a year-long impasse, the U.S. and China announced at the APEC Summit that they had agreed on a list of products to be added to the WTO Information Technology Agreement (ITA). The ITA will add about 200 new technology products to the existing list of duty- free items.

Smarter, Modern Global Policies That Cut Trade Barriers Are the Answer – Reporting Back From the APEC CEO Summit

apec-sq.jpg I had the pleasure of participating in the 2013 CEO Summit for the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in Bali, Indonesia earlier this month. This gathering took place alongside APEC’s annual meeting of leaders from 21 of the world’s most dynamic economies. They made important progress to advance the future of global trade – the underpinning of innovation, entrepreneurship, jobs and sustainable growth.

While the last five years have been difficult in the wake of the global financial crisis, more people are back to work and small and medium-sized businesses are beginning to grow again. Still, businesses today, and especially smaller businesses, continue to confront a complex spaghetti bowl of overlapping rules and competing regulation that hinders innovation and development, including expensive tariffs and confusing and lengthy customs approval processes to get their products into consumers’ hands.

Economic Advancement? Listen to These Businesses

b20-stpetersburg.jpeg Ralph Carter represented FedEx at the recent B20 discussions in Russia.

The Palaces of Peter and Catherine the Great were a stunning backdrop to last week’s Business 20 ("B20") meetings in Russia.

Governments around the world are looking for the right mix of policies to spur economic growth. With some countries opting for austerity while others try expansionary fiscal and monetary policies, consensus on the best approach is hard to find.

Africa’s Moment to Move Forward

wef-capetown-square.jpg
I recently returned from the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town, South Africa.  The city lives up to its reputation as one of the most beautiful in the world.  But the assembled leaders were there to do much more than just take in the view.  Like the early explorers who founded Cape Town, this group of leaders came to chart a course for a new era of growth and opportunity for the continent.  Optimism was the prevailing mood of the participants, though

International Services Agreement on Trade: Great for U.S. Economy and World Trading System

FedEx Mexico courier compressed.jpg
Today the Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) notified Congress of its intent to enter into negotiations on a new services-only plurilateral trade agreement. That’s great news for the U.S. economy and the world trading system. At a time when growth opportunities are scarce, liberalization of global service markets could give a much needed boost to the U.S. economic recovery.